WHAT IS SRE?
[segment II - Scarcity as a Positive]
Niall: It is important to get the incentives right. To that end, why is it important that SREs be scarce?
Ben: Early on, we didn’t have much in the way of choice. We could not hire SREs as fast as the demand for them, so there was always scarcity. I used that to our advantage by simply saying, "We will assign SREs to the places where they're going to do the most good". Operations-only projects have relatively low ROI. I don't put SREs on those. There are other projects which are much more mature and established, and SREs on those projects would have a much higher marginal benefit. Historically, what we have seen is one SRE will replace two DEVs doing the same work, partly because they tend to be expert at production-related technologies and the support model. Roughly, that's the equation that has helped SRE demand stay high. That demand in turn being higher than supply has helped us avoid being pulled into some engagements where the engagement itself would have been sketchy.